Snapchat Proved It Can Work for E-Commerce—Here's Why That Matters
A few weeks ago, we ran a story on Snapchat’s new in-app store, in which it offered branded merchandise such as emoji hats and sweatshirts depicting the brand’s ghost mascot. We did our usual round of speculation as to how Snapchat would use the platform, both for its own promotional purposes and for those of its advertisers and partners. We even dug into the ol' archive to see how Snapchat had begun to transform itself into a formidable platform for advertisers. Then, we waited.
Now, it seems, we may have some evidence as to the efficacy of Snapchat’s shop. During last week’s NBA All Star Weekend, the social media brand partnered with Nike, alongside Shopify, Darkstore and R/GA, to come up with a marketing campaign for the modern age.
Fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles had a chance to interact with this promotion, as long as they were using Snapchat, that is. Using the app, these lucky folks were able to see an interactive 3D augmented reality filter of Michael Jordan in his iconic flight stance from the 1988 slam-dunk contest. By interacting with the filter, users who tapped the screen discovered that Jordan’s image changed into the current All-Star uniform and a pair of the brand new Air Jordan III Tinkers.
Later on at the event, users were given a special QR code by Snapchat that gave them the opportunity to purchase the shoes within the app’s store. Fittingly, the AJ III Tinker’s sold out in 23 minutes, though it’s unclear just how many shoes were available. The promotion involved users purchasing the sneakers via the Snap Store, which is powered by Shopify. Then, they were able to have the Tinkers delivered within two hours by the same-day delivery service Darkstore, which specializes in servicing ecommerce needs.
All things considered, this seems like a lot of moving parts. While it was designed to seem seamlessly interactive, this promotion by Snapchat could have gone horribly wrong if any piece or partner went awry. Judging by the widespread acclaim now peppering the interwebs, however, it looks like this risky scheme has paid off big time for the brand, as well as proved the power and possibility of e-commerce using Snapchat.
While this is a retail-heavy promotion, there could be some interesting opportunities for promotional marketing here as well. Imagine a user-friendly app that could allow end-users to pick out whatever promotional products they need for an event or marketing campaign. The app could link directly to a distributor, and even to the manufacturer. This type of mobile e-commerce, if paired with blockchain or some similar technology, could allow for an open and fully accessible supply chain, giving updates and storing information about all parts of the process. The app could even come with an interactive design interface, in which end-users could choose from options for branding a particular product, or even offer a design of their own.
It may sound ambitious, but this is the kind of ambition the promotional products industry should be striving toward if it’s going to continue to grow in the shifting global marketplace. After all, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and if Michael Jordan is in any way involved, even tangentially, it’s got to be pretty cool.